2016 Ford Fiesta ST200 Test Drive: Pocket Rocket
Fiesta ST gets a few more ponies
This is the new Ford Fiesta ST200, the fastest of its kind. It joins the regular Fiesta ST in the European lineup of fast cars that Ford sells. The new Ford Fiesta ST200 has 200 PS from a 1.6-liter turbo engine and an overboost function that unlocks 15 more ponies for a 20-second period. When needed.
Recommended for:driving nutsyoung and single
Created for:winding roads
Hats off for:road handlingengine power
Bang for the buck:excellent
Ford already has a very nice collection of performance cars. Starting with the Fiesta ST, Focus ST, the very impressive Focus RS and the exclusive GT. And yet, Ford feels that it can improve this lineup. Meet the new Ford Fiesta ST200, an improved version of the standard Fiesta ST, a car launched almost four years ago.
The current Fiesta generation, Ford's B-segment representative in Europe, will be phased out next year. So, why not go out with a bang?
For the final year of the model, Ford has introduced the Fiesta ST200. First important change: power has gone up from 182 PS to 200 PS. The engine is the same 1.6-liter turbo unit. Second change: you can order it in only one color, a dubious whitish-grey officially named Storm Grey.
The 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine has yet another ace down the sleeve. For some extra kick, an overboost period of 20 seconds will provide you with 15 more ponies and a 30 Nm bonus. Max torque stands at 290 Nm.
Essentially, this is a factory version of the Mountune performance kit that is available as an aftermarket option for the "normal" Fiesta ST. Another change is a shorter final-drive ratio. This translates into shorter gears and more oomph with every gear change.
The Fiesta ST was always a joy to drive, and the the new ST200 is no different. The suspension was revised and the rear torsion beam is 27% stiffer.
In addition, the dampers and springs are somewhat softer, but overall, the new Fiesta ST handles like a dream. It's light and agile in every turn.
The steering was also reworked and shows precision, but could do with a little more feedback.
The Fiesta has an excellent safety rating. It was tested by EuroNCAP in 2012 and received the highest score of five stars.
With the collection of the safety systems and a full set of airbags, the Fiesta ST200 is one of the safest supermini hot hatches available on the market.
Well, comfort is not the priority here. But it is not ignored. The Recaro sport seats are very supportive and shield you nicely, and although the seating position is too high, it doesn't lack comfort.
The Fiesta ST200 is only available in three-door config, and this raises the practicality question, but you don't buy this car for practical reasons. One more thing: the suspension can shake a bit if the road surface is uneven.
Ford makes decent interiors. It's not as fancy or plush as a premium manufacturer like Audi or BMW, but the general quality is ok. The Fiesta has started to show its age, and the Sony audio controls on the main console are as horrible as ever due to the tiny buttons. There are a few things that that brighten up the interior, though, like the unique Charcoal Recaro seats and the illuminated ST200 sill plates.
Like we said, the Fiesta ST200 is available only as three-door hatchback. So it's not very practical when you need to haul two extra friends. But, who cares, anyway. It has a decent boot with 276 liters of cargo space, which is enough to hold two medium-sized luggage cases.
Fiesta ST uses the SYNC voice-activated communications and entertainment system together with a five-inch display. The screen is small by today's standards but gets the job done and it also display images from the rearview camera when the vehicle is backing up. The sound system is provided by Sony and the speakers are also tasked with enhancing the engine note.
The 1.6 Ecoboost engine is powerful, but can be also easy on the wallet. Official numbers say it can return 46.3 mpg (combined), (38.5 US mpg / 6.1 l/100 km), but this is an optimistic figure.
On a daily urban run, the Fiesta ST200 will do around 28 mpg (23.5 US mpg). On our run, the on-board computer displayer 36.2 mpg (30 US mpg).
The Fiesta ST comes with a tech decent kit. Besides the SYNC entertainment system and the Enhanced Torque Vectoring System, you also get LED daytime running lights, an intelligent key, and a sat-nav system.
It's not cheap. European prices start around €23,900, and unfortunately, this version will not come to the United States. But you can buy one in the UK for £22,745. It's quite a lot, almost £3,000 over the standard Fiesta ST.